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Could a tea partyer replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.?

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Still, independent candidate Marcus Lewis has already announced his candidacy. He lost to Jackson in November, taking only about 14 percent of the vote. He made his intentions known late Wednesday, telling supporters he planned to run “to stop the trickery” associated with the seat “for decades.”

In his resignation letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday, Jackson noted that he was also preparing for a federal indictment that media reports say should be announced against him in the near future. The House Ethics Committee is investigating whether Jackson tried to bribe imprisoned Governor Blagojevich for an appointment to Mr. Obama’s former Senate seat, or at least tried to engage in the process through an emissary. Jackson denies the charges.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also reportedly investigating allegations that Jackson improperly used campaign funds to decorate his Washington home.

“I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators, and accept my responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone,” Jackson wrote.

Since Jackson submitted his letter, Ms. Halvorson says her phone has been ringing. Supporters and other local leaders urging her to run, she says. She represented Illinois' 11th District for one term before losing two years ago. This year, she lost to Jackson 71 to 29 percent in the Second District primary.

“This district has been so underrepresented, and not just over the last six months, it’s been a long time. You can’t have somebody going into this seat with a learning curve,” she says.

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